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2020 signals a 10-year countdown to the United Nations global goals, which is one reason  why the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has chosen the theme of 'sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet' for this year's World Maritime Day.

The IMO has been instrumental in the adoption of sustainability measures that will cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce sulphur in fuel oil, protect the polar regions and reduce marine litter. They're also committed to improving the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information and meeting the challenges of the digitalization of shipping. The importance of standards in overcoming these challenges was highlighted by the IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim, at an online event earlier this year

IMO is working to ensure shipping can embrace the digital revolution – while ensuring safety, environmental protection as well as cyber security. Digitalization and new technologies will also be the key to allowing standardization and therefore enhancing the efficiency of shipping.

The IMO believes that it will be a decisive decade, not only for the shipping industry, but for life on the planet. World Maritime Day 2020 provides a broad platform for the IMO and its member states to address a range of  topics and challenges around meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  Whilst significant progress has been made, leaders from various sectors, including shipping, will use the occassion to reflect on the work done and the urgent steps they further plan towards a sustainable future.

Find out more about the work of ISO's committee on ships and marine technology and how they're helping the move to sustainable shipping.

The ISO committee responsible for ships and marine technology, ISO/TC 8, is also playing a significant role in using standards to drive sustainability across the shipping industry, with a number of standards that address environmental concerns released earlier this year.

Commenting on the importance of sustainability, committee manager Ms Jing Wang says "we have around one hundred standards currently in development, many of which will contribute to more sustainable use of our seas and oceans. Fourteen of the standards in our pipeline are being developed by a group of experts dedicated specifically to marine environment protection.

ISO's commitment to a long-term future, and our belief in the power of standards as an enabler of sustainability, doesn't end in the water. We have a catalogue of standards that help make life safer, easier and more sustainable on land, in the air, and even virtually.  You can find out more about the role of standards in meeting the UN SDGs and more than 1000 standards that make a direct contribution towards realizing the 2030 target.

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